Series Preview: Spurs vs Blazers, Game 1

Game 1 Line: San Antonio -6.5

Series Line: Portland Trail Blazers +320 / San Antonio Spurs -420


48 minutes away from having their season end, the San Antonio Spurs’ experience proved to be the difference versus the Dallas Mavericks.

From the opening tip to the final buzzer, the outcome of Game 7 was never in question. The Spurs rolled. Now, the defending Western Conference Champions will be playing in the Western Conference semifinals for the 14th time in the last 17 seasons.

When examining the Spurs’ roster, the way they play the game is simply remarkable to watch. The Spurs don’t beat themselves. They make sure they beat you. While the trio of Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan are all 31 and older, recognize the greatness in which you are witnessing. This playoff series could be their last. Certainly enjoy it because no one knows how much longer they’re going to be together.


Duncan and head coach Gregg Popovich are seeking their fifth NBA championship in 17 seasons, and if this series was decided based on experience, depth, and balance, the Trail Blazers would not stand a chance.

The Spurs offensive execution is a work of art – better than the abstractness of a Picasso and the beauty of a Van Gogh.

Ranked No. 1 in assist ratio, the Spurs selflessness is a prime example of the unselfish offense in which Popovich has instilled during his tenure at the helm.

Besides sharing the basketball, the Spurs ability to take care of the basketball is another reason why it’s so difficult to defeat the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference any time they take the court.

If the Spurs are able to replicate their success of the pick and roll from last series, Portland will be in deep trouble. The key for the Spurs defense on the other hand will be containing LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard. If those too are let loose, the series may turn into a shootout — an advantage for Portland.

So while the Dallas Mavericks gave the Spurs everything they can handle in Games 1-6, defeating the Spurs on their home court in a deciding Game 7 proved an impossible task. The Spurs defense was air tight in Game 7. It’ll have to continue in Game 1 of this series; otherwise San Antonio will need a split at home in order to keep their championship hopes afloat.

Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Thomas RobinsonLillard and Aldridge were dynamite in the first round against the Rockets. Playing as well as any other team in the playoffs, except for maybe the Miami Heat, Portland’s ability from three-point range makes this team’s offense dangerous on all levels.

Aldridge can dominate down low, Lillard can beat you from downtown, and Nicholas Batum has been stellar with the game on the line. It’s no secret that Portland’s success in this series is dependent on the play of Aldridge and Lillard. Both playing at MVP type levels, this team goes, when those two are driving the train.

If Lillard continues to resemble the likes of Reggie Miller or Steve Kerr from downtown (48.9 percent), Portland will give the Spurs a headache all series long. San Antonio won’t be able to defend them inside or on the perimeter. The Mavericks gave the Spurs a run, but expect the Blazers to beat them in the race.

From pretenders to serious NBA championship contenders, no one expected the Blazers to be in this position. Vegas didn’t even have them making it out of the first round of the playoffs, but here they are. Four wins away from playing for a Western Conference championship. While their series begins on Tuesday night, the road to the Conference Finals begins with a victory in Game 1.

My Game 1 Pick: Trailblazers +6.5 and Moneyline

My Series Pick: Trail Blazers in 6

May 6, 2014 by : Posted in Picks and Predictions No Comments
Adam Rosen

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Adam Rosen is a seasoned sports writer with special interests in Pro Football and Basketball. He has been picking sports games against the spread for years, and has posted a 56% win rate over his last 75 predictions.

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